Waiting For Cisco

If Cisco ever wanted to abandon its “penny above” routine and blow the doors off estimates, now would be a good time.

Cisco is expected to report earnings of 18 cents a share Tuesday night, up from 15 cents in the year-ago quarter, and revenues are expected to come in at $5.5 billion, up from $4.6 billion a year ago.

With the Nasdaq mired in a four-month downtrend and hitting new lows, strong earnings from Cisco might be just the thing to get investors’ minds off rising interest rates.

On Thursday morning, investors will get the first of two inflation reports this week, and then Dell will report its results after the close. Dell already pre-announced strong earnings, so investors will likely be eyeing the company’s forecast to see if the strength can continue.

Stocks tumbled again on Monday, as inflation fears sent Asian markets plunging, spread to Europe, and then hit U.S. markets. Also hurting sentiment was a huge settlement with WorldCom investors by Citigroup .

The Nasdaq fell 21 to 1896, the S&P 500 lost 11 to 1087, and the Dow tumbled 127 to 9990. Volume rose to 1.92 billion shares on the NYSE, and 1.9 billion on the Nasdaq. Decliners led 30-3 on the NYSE, and 25-7 on the Nasdaq. Downside volume was 85% on the NYSE, and 74% on the Nasdaq. New highs-new lows were 7-860 on the NYSE, and 12-205 on the Nasdaq.

After the close, Symbol Tech missed earnings estimates but beat revenue estimates.

During the day, Chip stocks were strong once again. Applied Materials rose 2% on a JP Morgan upgrade. Intel rose on new mobile chips.

Microsoft edged higher as its antivirus reward program led to a high-profile arrest.

Overstock.com fell 10% on a secondary offering.

And an offshoring firm plans to go public.

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